By Ashoke Raj
New Delhi [India], April 18, (ANI): Airbus -- one of the largest commercial aircraft manufacturing companies in the world -- has reduced its aircraft production rates by roughly one-third due to COVID-19 pandemic.
When asked how COVID-19 has impacted its business, Airbus told ANI: "This is by far the most serious crisis our industry has ever been in. Airbus maintains a strong focus on backlog management, supporting customers and securing business continuity."
"Airbus has reduced its pre-coronavirus commercial aircraft production rates by roughly one-third. With the new rates, we preserve our ability to meet customer demand while protecting our ability to further adapt as the global market evolves," said Airbus in a statement.
"At Airbus, we are taking and will continue to take all necessary measures to protect the future of the company in the interest of all our stakeholders but also of the industry as a whole. This will ensure we can return to normal operations once the situation improves again -- because it will eventually," adds the statement.
India has placed the largest order of commercial aircraft to Airbus. Recently, IndiGo had placed the order of 300 A-320neo family aircraft to Airbus.
IndiGo had issued a statement, stating that "this latest IndiGo order comprises a mix of A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR aircraft. This will take IndiGo's total number of A320neo family aircraft orders to 730."
When ANI contacted IndiGo on the statement over delay in delivery by Airbus, IndiGo refused to make any comment.
When asked if COVID-19 or such a pandemic situation will delay the delivery of aircraft to its Indian client, Airbus said: "We are not at liberty to disclose any details of discussions, which remain confidential. We are in close contact with our customers and working with them to manage the situation including deliveries. Details of our discussions remain confidential."
Airbus has experienced one of the worst phases ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic: "Due to COVID-19, aviation is among the worst-affected sectors. The travel sector is currently under lockdown, as per the regulation of the government. Even after the lockdown is lifted, it will have consequent implications and could lead to structural job losses, shift in terms of traffic growth, fleet expansion and business models of airlines."
"For India to return to the pre-COVID operational fleet, it will take more than a year from the time of the restrictions being lifted. However, aviation is a long-term business and before and after the crisis we are convinced: people and goods will want and need to fly," said Airbus in a statement to ANI.
The joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines -- Vistara -- has placed 50 Airbus of A320neo aircraft, of which three aircraft of A320neos were received.
Last year in August, Air Asia also ordered 12 Airbus A330neo and 30 Airbus A321XLR aircraft. On the possible delay in the delivery of aircraft, a spokesperson of Vistara refused to comment. Air Asia spokesperson said: "We decline to comment." (ANI)